Well as expected the usual hysterical blog backlash greeted the recent Forbes piece on the risks of blogging.
While I was reading much of the commentary a couple of thoughts came to mind, and as usual I thought Iâ€™d bore you to tears with my own little opinion.
First and foremost everyone needs to chill-out a little.
Was the article a little sensationalist? Yes
Was much of the advice it provided on managing a blog-related issue ill advised? Yes
Was it an interesting read? Yes
And did it raise a potential major issue? Yes
Do we think it is a good thing that we only highlight the positive aspects of blogging? Surely there is a carrot and a stick approach to blogging. Organizations should be keenly aware that while blogs help build conversations, promote understanding and help with promotion and SEO, there is a much darker side to the democratization of opinion. There are dangers and risks.
In addition, I believe itâ€™s good, right and true that consumers should become more educated on blogging and that they question the source, agenda and bias of blog authors.
People’s reputations are being legitimately and illegitimately attacked through blogs each and every day. To ignore that aspect of blogging – and I personally haven’t seen a lot of people writing about it – is unwise.
It appears that for many of the blogging community the only acceptable editiorial on the subject is the same sugary puff pieces, that in another sphere, they would mercilessly attack as proof that “the traditional media is dead”.
The sky isnâ€™t falling down here. The fact that Forbes covered the subject means that blogging is maturing, this is a standard phase for any new tool, technology or channel. Debate of these issues is healthy and to be welcomed.
I would point out that it is good professional practice to provide clients with a holistic view of blogging. Itâ€™s clear that the Forbes piece was scare mongering but itâ€™s no harm adding a bit of balance to the blogging utopia available on millions of sites around the Internet.
P.S. I’m sure you’ve already read it, but Richard Edelman has an interesting take on the Forbes article. I don’t necessarily agree with his recomendation that we should (only) put forward the positive view of blogging, but it’s well written.